Federal charges are in the works against the violent armed robbers who’ve swiped more than $4 million worth of pricey watches and jewelry from patrons of Big Apple hotspots, the city’s top cop said Tuesday.
In a pair of interviews, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said local and federal law enforcement officials were seeking to take down the crew, which The Post exclusively revealed Monday is affiliated with the notorious Trinitarios gang and calls itself OED — for Own Every Dollar.
“The message to these people should be very clear: We are going to come after you with the full might and fury of the criminal justice system, including federally, and put [you] away for as long as we possibly can,” Shea said on 1010 WINS.
On FOX 5, he said the NYPD was working with “all five district attorneys, multiple federal agencies on a task force” to shut down the criminal enterprise eyed in over a dozen robberies.
“There have been some arrests, but the problem is still ongoing,” Shea said. “You can absolutely expect more arrests as we get closer to hopefully bring us to a conclusion.”
Meanwhile, Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain, said, “I don’t think we need the feds to step in.”
“We have a great robbery unit in the New York City Police Department,” he said during a campaign event in Brooklyn.
“What we must do is start connecting the dots,” he said.
“We have video [cameras] everywhere. Let’s use the videos. Let’s make sure that we catch these guys before they hurt more people and [others] become copycats.”
But Adams said he was “concerned” that the rash of robberies could create the “perception of fear because it could hurt tourism, it could hurt diners, our restaurant industry.”
“If there’s a perception that I cannot sit down at a restaurant without someone attempting to rob me, that I can’t get on the subway without someone pushing me to the subway tracks, that perception becomes real,” he said.
They include last month’s shooting of an outdoor diner at the Philippe Chow restaurant on the Upper East Side who fought back after another patron had his Rolex watch stolen, and Thursday’s gunpoint robbery of about $150,000 worth of jewelry from a Diamond District store owner who was leaving Tribeca’s Buddha-Bar New York restaurant and lounge.
Shea’s comments came a day after an NYPD cop fired three shots through the windshield of a black BMW in which three suspects allegedly fled after being spotted casing the scene outside the Pergola restaurant in Chelsea.
On Aug. 19, a 34-year-old man was robbed of $100,000 worth of jewelry — including an Audemars Piguet watch — after he left Pergola.
Cops caught one of Monday’s suspects — Wilson Mendez, 19, of the Bronx — following a brief chase and he was taken to a hospital for treatment of cuts to his face.
But Mendez has yet to be charged in Manhattan Criminal Court and he was at the NYPD’s 13th Precinct as of late Tuesday, police said.
His lawyer, Dawn Florio, said only, “We’re going to fight the charges vigorously.”
Spokespersons for the US Attorney’s Offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn declined to comment.
Court records show Mendez is awaiting trial in two criminal cases, one stemming from a Sept. 6 incident during which he was a passenger in a vehicle that was driven onto a sidewalk and crashed along West 172nd Street in Upper Manhattan when cops tried to stop it.
Mendez was charged with resisting arrest and illegally possessing a single round of handgun ammunition found in the glove box, and he was released without bail the next day.
At the time, Mendez was free on a $50,000 bond following his Sept. 8, 2020, arrest on West 188th Street, where cops allegedly found a Ruger .380-caliber pistol and Glock 9 mm pistol inside a Dodge vehicle in which he and two other men were sitting.
Mendez and co-defendant Ariel Olivier were each charged with illegally possessing a loaded firearm. Olivier also was charged with possession with intent to sell 20 glassine envelopes of heroin in that case, which is being handled by the city Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office.